Could a group of pioneering Aussies with A-League experience, be behind one of the great Asian World Cup stories with Guam?
In Guam, they hope so, as national head coach Karl Dodd and his Australian assistants plan the minnows' World Cup qualification journey.
The Socceroos weren’t the only Australians in focus when the draw was made in Kuala Lumpur tonight (Wed) for AFC second-round World Cup qualifiers.
In Group A, Dodd's Guam is set to face China PR, Syria, Philippines and Maldives.
Alongside him, former A-League striker Daniel McBreen and a team of Aussie backroom staff are backing the Matao in their dream of causing an upset in the group.
And with three home games out of five on the island later this year, Dodd is hoping to galvanize the island nation’s fans, whose top-level football is rationed to largely every four years.
Queenslander Dodd, who’s reinvigorated Guam’s set up in the past 18 months since taking over as Head Coach, has a massive challenge ahead.
But with his Australian assistants and a program of bringing through local knowledge and expertise, Dodd has a spring in his step.
“Daniel McBreen will again be involved," Dodd confirmed to FTBL.
“There’s also Matt Ham the strength and conditioning goalkeeper coach out of Brisbane, two top physios in Michael and Seb, and the sports psychologist Marcel Noronha and a team manager.
“There are six of us Aussies. We're all helping the locals improve in their respective areas.
“There are no ‘yes men’, we all want the best. We all want to achieve for Guam,” he said.
Dodd is believed to be the only Australian head coach of a FIFA national men’s team other than Graham Arnold of Australia.
Interestingly, Guam may face another former A-League ‘Aussie’ in Iain Ramsay, who has been playing for his nation of heritage the Philippines in recent years.
The question is, can the Micronesian island cause an upset in the hothouse of Beijing or against talented Syria?
“One of the things about football,” Dodd told FTBL, “is that anyone can beat anyone on their day.
“Yes David could beat Goliath, but it also could go the other way. It’s a one-off game which is nerve-wracking.
“As a nation, we’re continuing to improve, that’s all I ask for. Make each game better than the last.
“We want to represent Guam with pride.”
Guam’s last game was pretty special.
A 5-0 rout of Bhutan that turned around a 1-0 away deficit.,
It showed Dodd, who brought in McBreen for the games, that with belief, his players can punch above their weight.
“We’ll plan accordingly, and now it’s up to us how hard we want to work, how bad we want it.
“Where they take it, the players, it’s in their hands. They know the minimum expectation from me.
“And the positive is, these are joint World Cup and Asian Cup qualifiers.
“Are we ever going to be able to compete against the likes of Japan? Australia? The top nations? There are a lot of limiting factors."
Guam is ranked 190 but caught the eye after reaching the final 40 in Asia.
Dodd added: “It’s an awesome challenge, just sad it doesn’t happen enough.
“The question is, can we punch above our weight."